State finals Saturday: Wallace-Rose Hill, Tarboro come up winners in title games


Five area high school football teams went into Saturday's state championships hoping to win it all.

When the dust settled, Wallace-Rose Hill (Class 2-A) and Tarboro (Class 1-AA) came away with state titles. Both are programs familiar with success. WRH won its fourth straight state title (the previous three were at the 1-A level) while Tarboro won its fourth title since 2009.

VIDEO, Part 2: Wallace-Rose Hill, Tarboro claim state title wins

Wallace-Rose Hill wins thrilling OT game for fourth straight state title

CHAPEL HILL -- The seniors at Wallace-Rose Hill who have been on the varsity football team all four years of high school certainly have something to brag about.

The Bulldogs won a dramatic overtime game with Reidsville, 35-28, to take the Class 2-A state title. The Bulldogs won three previous 1-A titles and have now won four straight overall.

Wallace-Rose Hill looked like it would run away with the game, leading 21-7 after the first quarter. The Bulldogs looked to take control after Quavion Basyden picked off a pass and raced 97 yards for a touchown with 1:52 left in the first quarter.

But Reidsville climbed back into it and made it close before tieing the game at 28-28 with a touchdown with 42 seconds left, forcing overtime.

In overtime, Desmond Newkirk scored on a touchdown run on fourth down, giving the team a seven-point lead. Reidsville got the ball but fumbled on the second play, giving the Bulldogs the win.

Reidsville got back into the game with two touchdowns by Travion Canada, one by run and another by pass. The Bulldogs went back ahead, 28-21, after a 5-yard scoring run by Newkirk with 10:18 left.

The 2017 2A State Champions! @WRHBulldogs

-- NCHSAA (@NCHSAA) December 10, 2017

The MVP of the 2A State Championship Game is Javonte Williams of @WRHBulldogs! #NCHSAAFB

-- NCHSAA (@NCHSAA) December 10, 2017

Congratulations to Zechariah Dobson of @WRHBulldogs and Donovan Pinnix of @rockinrams, the 2A recipients of the @NCFarmBureau Sportsmanship Award! #SportsmanshipTogether #NCHSAAFB

-- NCHSAA (@NCHSAA) December 10, 2017

Tarboro returns to state-title winning ways after beating Mount Airy

RALEIGH -- The Vikings won the Class 1-AA state title for the first time since 2011 after rolling past Mount Airy, 32-7 on Saturday at Carter-Finley Stadium in Raleigh.

Tarboro last won a state title in 2011, the third straight crown for the Vikings at the time. Todd Gurley, now with the Los Angeles Rams, was a star running back on that team.

1AA 2017 Football State Champions @TarboroFootball ! #NCHSAAFB ????

-- NCHSAA (@NCHSAA) December 9, 2017

Despite that success, the Vikings had fallen short in their quest to return to glory, losing in the state finals in 2012 and falling short each year after of a return trip to the state finals before Saturday's game against the Granite Bears.

Tarboro used a 6-yard touchdown run and a punt return for another score to take a 12-0 lead at the half. Despite several chances by Mount Airy, the Granite Bears were only able to muster a touchdown in the fourth quarter, which is also when the Vikings added three more touchdowns of their own.

Your 1AA State Champions @TarboroFootball! #NCHSAAFB ????

-- NCHSAA (@NCHSAA) December 10, 2017

Donavon Greene caught a 21-yard pass from quarterback Ian Holder for Mount Airy's touchdown with about 6 minutes left. Before that, Deontae Williams scored on a 1-yard run to increase Tarboro's lead to 18-0.

After those two touchdowns, the Vikings added two more scores. Williams reached the end zone again to push Tarboro's lead to 24-7. Jaquez Edge scored the game's final touchdown from 8 yards out.

The 1AA State Champion MVP Deontae Williams @TarboroFootball! #NCHSAAFB

-- NCHSAA (@NCHSAA) December 10, 2017

Hibriten gets momentum in second quarter, wins 2-AA title over East Duplin

CHAPEL HILL -- A big second quarter enabled Hibriten to gain momentum and hold on to beat East Duplin, 16-14, in the Class 2-AA state title game Saturday at Kenan Stadium in Chapel Hill.

East Duplin got off to a hot start when Melvin Scott scored on an 81-yard touchdown run for a 7-0 lead in the first quarter. But things changed in the second quarter.

Hibriten threatened early in the second quarter before East Duplin's Jaylen Thomas picked off a Hibriten pass at East Duplin 2-yard line to get the ball back. But Hibriten got a safety on the next play to make it 7-2.

Hibriten then put together two quick scores for a 16-7 lead. Miles Simon scored on a 53-yard run and the conversion kick was good, giving Hibriten the lead, 9-7. Miles scored again after catching a 43-yard pass with 1:53 left in the half.

East Duplin got a touchdown with 1:30 left when Chris Benson scored from a yard out to cap a long drive. But Hibriten recovered the onside kick and ran out the clock for the win.

Late touchdowns lift Cherokee to first state title, win over North Duplin

RALEIGH -- Cherokee got two early fourth-quarter touchdowns and pulled away to beat North Duplin 21-13 Saturday in the Class 1-A state finals at Carter Finley Stadium in Raleigh.

The game was tied 7-7 going into the fourth quarter. Sophomore Cade Mintz then scored on a 51-yard run but the Braves failed on the conversion kick, giving Cherokee a 13-7 lead.

North Duplin got the ball back on the next series but couldn't get a first down. The Rebels tried a fake punt but came up short, turning the ball over to Cherokee. Two plays later, Isaiah Evans scored on an 11-yard run to give the Braves a 21-7 lead.

North Duplin scored with 2:42 left when Kenny Sheppard ran in from 4 yards out.

North Duplin scored the game's first points when C Bass ran in from 11 yards out with 6:19 left in the second quarter. Cherokee tied it when Mintz scored on a 5-yard run with 4:38 left in the third.

Big fourth quarter helps Charlotte Catholic beat Havelock, win 3-A state title

DURHAM -- Charlotte Catholic saved its best for last, scoring two touchdowns in the fourth quarter to pull away and beat Havelock 28-14 in the Class 3-A state title game, played at Wallace Wade Stadium in Durham.

Havelock led 14-13 after three quarters before the Cougars rallied. Lamagea Mcdowell capped a Charlotte Catholic drive with a 4-yard rushing touchdown. He also added the two-point conversion, giving Catholic the lead for good at 21-14.

The Rams tried to answer but failed to get a first down. Catholic took over and scored minutes later when Mcdowell punched it in again, this time from two yards out.

Havelock tied the game at 7-7 when Khalil Barrett scored on a 1-yard run with less than a minute left in the first quarter. Catholic scored its touchdown midway through the first quarter when Paul Neel caught a 6-yard pass from Christopher Walton for a touchdown.

Catholic took a 13-7 lead in the second quarter when Christopher Walton scored from a yard out. The Cougars missed the conversion kick. Havelock took the lead in the third quarter when Zach Sabdo threw a 24-yard touchdown pass to Justin Hoover.

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